10.14.2010

Wade Roberts Videos

As a follow up to yesterday's post about the swim clinic with Wade Roberts, Ph.D. that will be held on November 13, I have rounded up a few videos from YouTube to give you an idea of what he will be covering at the clinic.


Wade talking about common errors that triathletes make.


Wade talking about the importance of horizontal body position.


Wade talks about sighting.

The clinic will be held at the South Davis Rec Center on Saturday November 13 from 2 to 4 pm.  The cost to attend has been discounted from $100 per person to just $65.  For more information, please leave a comment below or email joshuakgreen@gmail.com.   Wade also teaches private lessons and can be reached at kosal96@yahoo.com.  I hope to see you there!

10.13.2010

Swim Clinic With Coach Wade Roberts

A couple years ago I attended two swimming clinics in Ogden with Wade Roberts, Ph.D.  The material that he presented completely changed the way I think about my stroke and swimming efficiently and turned what I had been taught about freestyle in high school on its head.  By following his advice I have made improvements to my stroke and, although I'm not as fast as I was in high school, I am swimming much more efficiently and am much less prone to shoulder injuries and pain.

I have recently been in contact with Wade and he has agreed to hold a two hour clinic to be held at South Davis Rec Center on Saturday November 13 from 2 to 4 pm.  He has also discounted his regular rate of $100 for two hours to just $65.  The clinic will include one hour of dryland instruction followed by practice in the water.  Questions and note-taking are encouraged.

Topics to be covered include:

Horizontal body position
Breathing
Switchpoint
Stroke timing
Productive vs. non-productive stroke portions
Injury prevention
 
Wade is an experienced swimmer and coach and has a long list of credentials to back him up including:

Former University of Utah swimmer
Master's National Team Member
4 Time Master's National medal winner
Senior Nationals medal winner
USA swim coach
High School swim coach
University of Utah Swim Team Technical Advisor
Private lesson instructor (13 years)
Professional coach (9 years)
Researcher and contributor to Dr. Maglischo's latest book (Swimming Fastest)
Ph.D. in economics (including efficiency modeling that applies to swim strokes)
Completed Southeast Asian island hopping swim (Cambodia)
Still swimming.....
 
The "off-season" is a great time to focus on improving your stroke and technique for next year's open water and triathlon season.  As mentioned previously, I have personally benefited from Wade's clinics and I am excited to share this great resource with fellow swimmers and triathletes.  If you are interested in attending the clinic or would like more details, please leave a comment below or send me an email at joshuakgreen@gmail.com.  Wade also teaches private lessons and can be reached at kosal96@yahoo.com.  I hope to see you there!

10.10.2010

Orson Spencer - Utah's Open Water Swimming Hero

My friend Gordon Gridley has been in contact with the family of Orson Spencer, who was a dominant and inspirational open water Utah swimmer in the 30's and 40's.  Orson's grand-daughter recently sent Gordon some articles and an entry from Orson's mother's journal and they are absolutely fascinating to read.

There are so many great stories contained in the articles but one of the best happened one year at the Antelope to Black Rock swim.  The weather was bad and after all the other swimmers dropped out of the race, Orson continued on to finish because it was his mother's birthday (she was his coach and trainer) and he wanted to give her a gift by winning the race.

Orson was an inspirational swimmer and is one of Utah's open water heroes.  His record for the Antelope to Black Rock swim held for over 70 years until it was broken this year by Gordon (another of Utah's open water heroes and an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame record holder).

Please visit Gordon's blog for the full articles and photos of Orson Spencer.  For more information on the history of open water swimming at the Great Salt Lake, click here.  And if you are interested in swimming in the Great Salt Lake yourself, check out the Great Salt Lake Open Water Marathon Swim that we are currently developing for 2011.

10.05.2010

Inaugural Slam the Dam Race Review

By all accounts, the inaugural Slam the Dam open water swim was a big success!  Kara Robertson and her team did an amazing job putting together a challenging, exciting and fun event that I have already added to my "must do" swims for 2011.

Race morning started early for my wife Sabrina and I.  After leaving our two boys with my family at the hotel, we headed over to Lake Mead.  With all we had to do that morning I was worried that we would be late to check in, but as it turned out we got to Sunset View Overlook with plenty of time to spare.  We were met by a staff of friendly volunteers who helped me to get checked in, get body marked and pick up my swag bag.  It was a warm and beautiful morning.

Beautiful morning at the start of the 8K Slam the Dam open water swim at Lake Mead.
We unloaded our kayak and got ready to go down to the shore for the start.  We had to hike with our kayak down a quarter mile trail from the parking lot to the water.  Thankfully the race staff and other volunteers had cleared the path of trash and other debris.

Sabrina and I before the start of the 8K.
I saw a few people from Utah in the staging area before the race including James Jonsson, Mark Belnap and Gordon Gridley.  Since Sabrina had never used the kayak we brought down, she wanted to put in early so she could get a feel for it.

I was itching to get into the water to see just how warm it was.  Reports were that the water temperature was near 78 degrees, and while I didn't take the temperature myself, it must have been right around there.  The water quality and clarity was pretty good and was pretty comparable to Deer Creek.

One of my few complaints I had was that there was no start buoy.  Swimmers were creeping further and further into the lake even after Kara called us back.

There was a lot of excitement and joking around among the swimmers leading up to the start.  At the sound of the horn, we all took off.  I asked Sabrina beforehand to let me know each half hour that passed so that I knew about where I was and could stop to feed if I needed to.  After only about 15 minutes into the swim I started getting a bad headache.  Sometimes I get headaches after a long swim, but have never had one during a swim.  It continued to get worse over the next 45 minutes or so and became painful and distracting enough that I considered ending my swim.  I suspected that it might be due to my cap and goggles so I took my cap off and Sabrina handed me her goggles.  Her goggles drove me crazy and after only about 50 yards I had to trade them back for my own.  Sabrina had adjusted them so that they were a little more loose and that took a lot of pressure off my head.  After wasting 15 minutes or so messing with caps and goggles, I finally started swimming again and the headache never came back.

Early in the swim (before adjusting my goggles and cap) there was another swimmer drafting behind me who kept tapping my feet.  I was already in a pretty foul mood because of the headache, so each time he tapped my foot I kicked a little harder at him to try to let him know that it was bothering me.  The guy either didn't get that he was bugging me or didn't care because he didn't stop.  I have no problem with drafting and I can understand drafting as a strategy if you are a competitive swimmer and are trying to place in the race, but we had already been left behind by the faster swimmers and were towards the back of the group.  I honestly don't mind if someone wants to draft on me, but if they are going to swim that close they ought to at least swim off to the side (where you get more benefit from drafting anyway) and be considerate enough to not constantly tap my feet.  Anyway...the swimmer took off when I stopped to feed and fix my cap and goggles and I was pretty much alone for most of the rest of the swim.

I stuck to the same feeding plan that I used at Deer Creek which was to take a Gatorade Prime every half hour or so.  I had also mixed a bottle of half water and half Gatorade that I sipped every now and then.

The views from the water were beautiful and I wished that I had more time to explore and swim around the small islands and other features of the shoreline.  There were small, spiky twigs floating around in the water that scratched a little as they passed over my back or I swam over the top of them.  I found out later in the race where they came from...

Beautiful Lake Mead and one of the many buoys that marked the 2010 Slam the Dam 8K course.
Although the buoys were spaced fairly far apart for the first half of the race, the course was well marked and I had no problem figuring out where I was supposed to go.

Because I wasted so much time fixing my goggles and cap at the start of the swim, I was worried that I was going to miss the cutoff time for the 8K.  I was shooting for a time of 2:30 and the cutoff time was 2:45.  I started picking up my pace and pushing a little harder.  With more than half a mile to go, Sabrina confirmed my fears and told me I was at 2:28.  I knew I was going to have to push harder to make the cutoff time.

As I neared the beach I suddenly found myself swimming through huge bushes of what can best be described as tumbleweed.  The branches had little thorns on them and, although it didn't hurt, I was covered with scratches at the end.  The twigs that I had swam through earlier had to have come from one of these bushes.  After wading through the mud, I crossed the finish line.  According to the results, I missed the cutoff by 18 seconds.

The nice thing about the Grand Slam distance was the it was broken up into two races: 8K and 1.2 miles.  I had about 15 minutes to get something to eat and drink and check in with my family before starting the 1.2 mile swim.

Sabrina was also entered in the 1.2 mile swim.  Since it was going to be her longest open water swim, I decided to stay with her the whole way.  It was nice to take it easy and just enjoy a swim with my wife.  The only incident was that one swimmer was swimming on the wrong side of the buoys after the turnaround and we collided head on.

Despite the goggle and cap induced headache at the start of the swim and a finish time that was much slower than I had anticipated, I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the day.  I was glad to have my family come down to support me and watch our two little boys so Sabrina and I could both swim.

Hats off to Kara and her team for putting together a memorable event that I am looking forward to doing again in 2011.